Caledonia Chapel (Location Key)


"Caledonia" is the Latin name that the Romans gave northern Britain, and it became a synonym for Scotland. As several of the fictions note, many of the first white settlers in Mississippi of were of Scotch descent, and so it's not surprising to find the name 'Caledonia' in more than one place. There's a real Caledonia in Mississippi: a town in Lowndes County, north of Columbus and near the Alabama border; this town is mentioned in The Unvanquished. In Intruder in the Dust the "Caledonia Chapel" is the Protestant church where at least many of the white residents of Beat Four worship. It is "a plank steepleless box," "weathered, unpainted, of wood and not much larger than a single room" (153, 98). To get there, as Lucas tells Chick, "you takes the first right hand up into the hills just beyond the Nine-Mile branch bridge" (67). The church and graveyard beside it are a mile from the nearest house (90), set "quite high" on a ridge (97). When Chick first looks closely at it, "standing among the trunks of the high strong constant shaggy pines, solitary but not forlorn" (153), he decides that while other church buildings signify "Peace" or "Repent" or even "Beware," "this one said simply Burn" (154). In The Mansion "Caledonia Chapel" is only casually mentioned, as the place where Mink Snopes claims he sold his cow to "the Gowrie boys" (11). Here "Caledonia Chapel" seems to name more than just a church building, to be the name of a small hamlet.

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